On Access and Excess: Birth Interventions for Latinas in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region
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The United States southern border is expanding rapidly. Already home to over 7.2 million people, this region also contains two of the nation's top ten fastest growing cities (McAllen, Texas and Laredo, Texas) (DHHS 2009; USMBHC). Additionally, the border is culturally distinct from other places in the United States. Many border residents are Latino with low socioeconomic status and limited access to healthcare (USMBHC 2003). Latinas face particular challenges in this environment as individuals with at least two marginalized identities. Given our nation's history of forced sterilization, Latinas also have a history of coerced birth interventions made possible through gender, ethnic, lingual, and socioeconomic power differentials (Valdes 2016). Using Childbirth Connection's Listening to Mothers III survey, border Latinas' rates of birth interventions will be compared to two groups: 1) border non-Latinas and 2) non-border Latinas. The birth interventions of interest are cesarean section, episiotomy, epidural/drug-facillitated pain management, induction, and assisted delivery. Drawing upon intersectional theory, rates will also be compared according to private health insurance status and geographic region (border region versus non-border region).
Gomez, Amanda (2017). On Access and Excess: Birth Interventions for Latinas in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from